May 17, 2013 | ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — Fr. Daniel Riley, O.F.M., received an honorary doctorate of humane letters Sunday (May 12) from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont.
Fr. Dan, St. Bonaventure class of 1964, is a founding member of Mt. Irenaeus, the mountain retreat where he and his Franciscan
brothers live an open and contemplative life in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains.
Fr. Dan was honored for being “a man of deep faith and commitment to Catholic higher education, and a renowned spiritual guide for young people.” He has partnered with the Edmundite priests of Saint Michael’s to organize retreats for young people and priests on campus and at Enders Island.
Saint Michael’s, located in Burlington, Vt., is the only Edmundite college in the world.
The college was founded in 1904 by the Society of Saint Edmund, an order of priests that came to Vermont from France. Their ministry is based on service, hospitality and education.
The guardian of Holy Peace Friary at Mt. Irenaeus, Fr. Dan’s radiant smile and uplifting personality have been omnipresent fixtures at St. Bonaventure since 1971, when he returned to his alma mater and started the university’s campus ministry program.
He was assigned by Holy Name Province to positions in Boston, New York City, Portsmouth, N.H., and Washington, D.C., between 1974 and 1979, but returned to St. Bonaventure in 1979 to become coordinator of the university’s vocation program and campus minister.
Named after longtime librarian Fr. Irenaeus Herscher, O.F.M., the Mountain was established in 1984 when Fr. Dan signed a purchase agreement on a 207-acre, hardwood-covered hilltop in Allegany County. Three cabins were built in the 1980s, Holy Peace Chapel was dedicated in 1990, and Holy Peace Friary — a large community house for the resident friars, with gathering space for prayer and meals — was completed in 1995.
Almost 30 years after its founding, Mt. Irenaeus continues to host members of the St. Bonaventure community and visitors of all faiths, offering a quiet, natural setting and contemplative atmosphere that encourages people to develop their spirituality, or simply to get away from the stresses of daily life for a little while.
A native of Rochester, Fr. Dan graduated from St. Bonaventure with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, and joined the Franciscan Order in 1965. He received his master’s in theology from Washington Theological Union, and was ordained a priest in 1971.
About the University: As a leading Catholic Franciscan University, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers. Our students are becoming extraordinary